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“Beautiful facilities and amazingly helpful staff”

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Arenal Backpackers Resort
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful facilities and amazingly helpful staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2012

I highly recommend this place. The staff is accommodating and so helpful with planning the details of your time arenal. They will do anything to help you get cheap prices for the best excursions. The facilities are beautiful - gardens, pool, clean bathrooms/rooms, etc. The food was also great (but averaged $8-10 USD). The price of the rooms more than makes up for this thought - you can easily stay there for less than $20 USD per night. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank puravida211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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683 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2012

I love the pool, the cleanliness and the set up...but....
Staff not very helpfull.
NO furniture in the room (I mean nothing except the bed->100% stuff on the floor)
Very noisy. No lock for sensitive items.

We had a private with shared bathroom (charged more than the private with ensuite!!)

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LeClyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2012

La Fortuna is a small town that has had economic stimulation due to tourism. If you're looking for a "resort" experience, stay in one of the mega complexes farther down the road. If you're looking for real quality and a good experience on a budget, do book Arenal Backpacker's. We paid $35 a night for a two person tent (don't be fooled by the word tent). It's an industrial tent on a platform under an overhang with a real bed and outlets/lights. It was incredibly clean and well kept.

The pool is awesome, the bar charges reasonable prices and has good food, it's conveniently located, and the people hanging around were fun to meet.

The staff is friendly, and they do try to sell you tours. If you spend enough time in the local culture, you'll understand it's a small town, and they want their friends to have your business. We booked several activities through them (zip lining, hot springs, a hike) and were never disappointed and never overcharged. I give them the "Over and Above" for any other place I've ever stayed because of the following experiences.

1. We were in an auto accident in front of the hostel (lucky for us it happened so close to home). I ran inside to tell them we needed a translator, and they send the owner (Diego) to come help us. The other car took off, but since it was a small town the bystanders figured out who it was. Diego stayed with us, called the police, called the insurance company, and even offered to give us his iPhone so we could go get some dinner while we were waiting for the local authorities to show up.

2. We booked a shuttle to Samara (or so we thought) and on the night before departure found out it was booked (and we weren't on it!) Freddy (mentioned in some other posts) and Marco both helped us by spending more than a few minutes on the phone with various options, ultimately securing us a ride. As we only had x amount of days, not traveling at that time would have thrown off our calendar, and we were quite grateful.

All in all any experience is a combination of what you make of it (especially if you preset expectations) and how it really is. In all my world travels this is the one place I will tell everyone I meet to make sure they book.

Room Tip: Tents in the back are away from the main walkway, but the front face the pool. Both are great.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jmcke1nd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

Arenal Backpackers has a nice look of resort. If you stay there, make sure you spend some time in its swimming pool to make the most of your stay and enjoy the volcano views.

Besides this, don´t expect anything else. The staff had a friendly face to sell you tours. On arrival they will make you feel welcome and next (or one hour later) will be selling you the self proclaimed alternative tours, which are nothing special.

The same "friendly" staff didn´t allow us to call another hotel in Monteverde the day we left (quite ridicoulous as in Costa Rica hotels have national free calls), didn´t give us a bit more cereals in a ridicously small sized breakfast, and didn´t fix the internet that didn´t work for more than a day.

There is really few transparency on prices. Good luck. We paid 35 USD $ for tent for two people (best is to call hotel in advance to confirm the rate)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andreas_Fer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

This is the hostel of hostels , not like a hostel at all. It has an amazing rooms,a huge swimming pool, a restaurant, the Costa Rican breakfast is yummy.Plus the staff are fluent in English and are friendly and really helpful, Freddy who works there is a sweetheart!!! I stayed on my second night in Costa Rica and it was a great begining to an awesome holiday.
I recc staying there highly!!!

Room Tip: All the dorms are great, you can either have mixed or all female.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Livvyinthestars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
84 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2012

Unlike some of the other reviews I read, the people in the facility were actually very hospitable and benign. I'm not just referring to the check-in area, but the person in the small diner they have to the janitor there. My friend and I had no qualms about service what-so-ever. The tent was $32, but since we split the cost it wasn't bad in actuality. Otherwise the dorms were $12 and the private rooms I'm not certain of.
The only downfall to our stay was the weather. I highly advise to travel there when the wet season is over. It was overcast and rained for most of our stay which put a damper on some activities we did or wanted to do. In light of that, the establishment was one of the best places we stayed in on our travels throughout Costa Rica (which consisted of hostels mainly). The tent my friend and I shared was fantastic (although it would be better for an actual couple haha). I was elated to see the tent area in which we stayed in for a few nights. They were elevated on a wooden platform with lights at each corner which provided a lovely lit walkway at nighttime. The beds were comfortable, but some of the sheets had stains and holes in the fabrics. I tried not to ponder on it too much!
Another aspect which facilitated our trip was booking expeditions through the front desk person. Since we stayed in a few chain hostels by the same owner/company we were able to make reservations for a white water rafting trip in another district which was marvelous and efficient for us!
All in all, definitely stay here for a more safe and pleasing experience. It's well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelingLady86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2012

This was the second hostel my friend and I stayed at in Costa Rica and it's pretty impressive although could make a few improvements. The reception area is welcoming, the staff are extremely friendly and can offer some great advice, the restaurant (although not particularly cheap) serves some fantastic food/snacks, there are 4 computers with free fast internet access, there are some beautiful tents you can stay in if you're willing to pay a little extra, there are plenty of bathrooms and plenty of room in the dorm rooms. The pool looks amazing I must admit and other people never seemed to have a problem but the water in the pool turned my friend's hair green which didn't best please her! Maybe some sort of chemical imbalance or something? Oh, and the view from the grounds is one of the best in Arenal/La Fortuna I reckon! The volcano is stunning (when it isn't covered in cloud!).
Anyway, the air con was a little annoying. Granted, it had air con. But this was put on automatically by staff at about 10pm and then it didn't go off until 10am the next morning. As they ultimately have the controls you can't alter the temperature and so the people in my room were freezing most of the first night there. We altered the temperature a little after this but as happens in a hostel not everyone agreed on this being better!
Oh, and you had to stand at the end of the pathway at night by a locked gate waiting for someone to buzz you in from reception. Several times we must have stood there for 5 mins or more waiting for the guy on reception to notice us without shouting! I know it's for security but I would say they need to look that way a little more, ha!
All in all though a pretty good stay and pretty good value for money! Well done!

Room Tip: You might want to fiddle with the air con temperature in the dorm rooms!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cjbopeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Backpackers Resort

Property: Arenal Backpackers Resort
Address: Meters West Of Central Park, Towards Volcano 350, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 21007, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 71 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Arenal Backpackers Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Arenal Backpackers Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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